We are pleased to announce that our 2018 winner is… Rev. Salvatore Sapienza, Pastor of Douglas Congregational United Church of Christ!
“Honor Thy Mother” (Earth Day)
Rev. Salvatore Sapienza
Two years ago around this time of year, I went with two of our church members to a UCC church in Massachusetts for a Progressive Christian conference, and one of the keynote speakers at the conference was Diana Butler Bass.
If you don’t know who she is, Bass is a best-selling Christian author and theologian, and, if you haven’t read any of her books, I highly recommend that you do so.
At the conference, Diana Butler Bass was promoting her book called Grounded, which is just out in paperback.
The premise of Grounded is that we as people of faith need to shift our thinking from a vertical understanding of God to a horizontal understanding of God.
Bass says that we in the Christian church have been taught for centuries now that there is this 3-tiered vertical Universe. That the devil’s down below, we’re in the middle, and God’s way up there.
And, we’ve been taught that the purpose of religion – the purpose of our faith – is to make sure we get up there, and not go down there.
The subtitle of the book Grounded is Finding God in the World: A Spiritual Revolution. Bass says we need a spiritual revolution in order to find God. We need to shift our perspective from vertical to horizontal.
… So, that’s the spiritual revolution she’s calling us to: Stop seeing God “up there,” and start seeing God right here. God is not separate from us. God is not distant from us. God is here with us. If we are to grow spiritually, we must shift from the “Distant God” of conventional religion and experience an intimate sense of the sacred that is with us in the world.